Unspoken memories, unwritten histories:
Eastern Mediterranean pluralism in oral history and memory studies
A series of workshops devoted to theory and practice in academia and civil society
Less than a hundred years ago, most Eastern Mediterranean cities were marked by a high degree of cultural pluralism. Whereas the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of modern nation-states heralded its end, some cities retained their cosmopolitan nature well until the Second World War. Oral histories and communicative memories of ethnoreligious groups that constituted vital parts of these cities are still living, often wound up with unhealed and suppressed historical. At the same time, simplified and nostalgic visions of a pluralist past are sometimes held up as role models for present-day Eastern Mediterranean societies without questioning, or without regard for the challenges that they entail. Local academics and civil society organizations alike play vital roles in researching, highlighting and supporting pluralism and pluralist heritage, sometimes in defiance of nationalist historiographies and policies.
The series Unspoken memories, unwritten histories, arranged by the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul (SRII), operates at a cross-section of academic research and civil society activism. It aims to bring together young scholars of history, minorities and human rights with representatives of academia and civil society in a number of Eastern Mediterranean cities outside of Turkey. The fourth workshop of the series is entitled The place of cultural pluralism in Beirut and will take place via Zoom.
Speakers of the panel, September 17 at 17:00 (UTC+3):
Craig Larkin, Senior Lecturer in Comparative Politics of the Middle East, King’s College
Mona El Hallak Ghaibeh, Director of AUB Neighborhood Initiative
Maria Abunnasr, AUB and Ras Beirut in One Hundred and Fifty Years of Photographs
Selim Deringil, Lebanese American University, Beirut
Eligible for participation are advanced students with a background in Arab, Turkish, and Lebanese culture and history, cultural and minority studies, or political, social and Human Rights studies. They should send their CV, together with a letter of interest outlining their interest in the topic and the ways in which it connects with their own research, no later than September 11, 2021,to firstname.lastname@example.org. Participants will be notified by September 13, 2021.